Preparing for the SWAT graduate careers fair

Here in the HR department we are getting ready for the SWAT Chartered Accountancy recruitment fair at SWAT UK in London on the 1st February.  Peter Ellis our student counsellor will be there and we’re excited about meeting graduates and students to hopefully help them with some of their career choices. 

If you’re going to a graduate recruitment fair, my advice would be to talk to as many people as possible, ask lots of questions and try to get a feel for the work you might be expected to do.  It’s really important that you are happy and fulfilled in your career so it’s important to find out whether a firm is a good fit for you. 

As a mid-tier firm we offer our trainees a really good balance of interesting and varied client work alongside regular contact with senior managers and partners in a friendly, informal environment.  Our graduate trainees are all unique but they do have some skills in common, they are all motivated, responsible people who work well as part of a team delivering excellent service to our clients.  If that sounds like it could be you, make sure to stop by the Shipleys stand to have a chat, find out some more and help yourself to some chocolate!

See you there ……


Peter Ellis

Peter works with a diverse portfolio of clients assisting them with their audit and accounting requirements. He is also the firm's Student Counsellor and deals with the recruitment, monitoring and supervision of our ACA students.

Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree…

…At the Christmas party hop! Thursday night saw in the Shipleys’ annual Christmas party. After having just given out the Secret Santa gifts, and having a tipple (or two) whilst getting ready for the night ahead, both the London & Godalming office arrived at Simpsons-in-the-Strand for an evening of laughing, dancing and celebrating all the successes and hard work undertaken throughout 2016.

We had a delightful three-course meal and each member of staff had their own designated seat, where we were all mixed up with different departments – a great way to get to know different members of staff across the two offices, who we may not necessarily have been able to speak to in the general working day.

Our Managing Principal, Simon Robinson, discussed the year’s events along with our successful merger with Smith Pearman, finally raising a glass to the New Year ahead and to what 2017 will bring, before opening up the dancefloor.

We also met one of our new graduate intakes, who will be starting in January and it was lovely to see them really enjoying the Christmas party, and getting to know all the staff they will be working with in the coming year. Lara and I remember being in the same position last year and how nice it was to be welcomed straight away by our future colleagues and we had a blast at the 2015 Christmas do.

Along with lots of chatting and dancing, we took loads of photos throughout the evening and here is one of them featuring myself, Eugene and Lara.


Just a few more days left of the working year, but everyone is in high spirits and we are all looking forward to a well-deserved Christmas break!

Now I think it’s just about time to say a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to all our readers.


Shenai Doughty

Shenai graduated from the University of Southampton with a Law degree and joined Shipleys in January 2016 as a Trainee Chartered Accountant. Her time is divided between working within the audit team in the London office and studying at Kaplan and attending SWAT training.

Midway through secondment

I’m midway through the secondment programme and so far the top highlights for me have definitely been meeting new people and trying new things, getting back into squash and fitness, the spontaneous trips to watch rugby, Sydney University law society comedy show and even that place they call ‘Chinese Laundry’.

Obviously there’s been the rough with the smooth- namely: being really ill after eating undercooked kangaroo steak, close to the sell-by date. This had quite the seismic effect as, for the secondment to date, ‘jump steak’ and lentils were the only two meals I’d cook at home and now it just doesn’t quite have the same appeal! Overall however it’s been huge.

So what does the future hold? As part of the exchange programme with Shipleys we get a month off to travel afterwards- ‘no way dude’!! Then after all that, I’ll be back having fun working at Shipleys – lots to look forward to.


Aus vs NZ, Bledisloe Cup, after some disappointing play from the Wallabies.



Shipleys goes to Sydney!

Luke Barron

I work in the audit team and started working as a semi-senior in January 2016 after 15 months at a different audit firm. I studied Biochemistry with Management at Imperial College London. I work on a variety on the audit and accounts of a variety of Shipleys’ clients.

Personal Development

It has been an extraordinarily fast-paced couple of months. Never have I ever felt the time fly so fast!

Since my last post, I have been involved in even more audits within the film & television industry. For the first time I feel at ease when approaching audit work and feel that my confidence has grown and grown. I strongly believe that this is down to a combination of experience (practice makes perfect!) by being exposed to more and more audits in short spaces of time and by working alongside approachable, supportive and encouraging colleagues. You really get the feeling of a team spirit here at Shipleys.

Aside from film audits, I have worked on several large funds. Again, I have found that the more exposure I have to these types of clients, the more confident I feel when approaching the required working papers. Don’t get me wrong through, there is still (and always will be) lots more to learn, especially with ever changing regulations and updating of accounting standards – but I guess that’s the exciting part, because as an accountant you are always growing in your career and developing your knowledge and expertise.

Audits aside, I have recently undertaken lots more accounts preps. These have ranged from sole traders to limited companies. If I am completely honest I initially felt a little apprehensive tackling these tasks (due to having worked predominantly on audits), but I would just like to emphasise how valuable the time that Seniors, Supervisors, Managers and Partners are willing to set aside in their own busy workday for trainees. In one specific instance, my Manager took the time to run through how I should approach each section of the working papers (from fixed assets through to sales and purchases). He also explained exactly what I should be looking out for when inspecting the client’s nominal ledger and post-year end ledger, and explained the kind of journals I would potentially need to put through. At the end of the two weeks (and five accounts preps later), I had learnt so much. I also noted parts of the tasks that I found the trickiest, along with the Manager’s tips on how to approach these sections and have typed these up to use as a guide on future accounts preparation jobs.

I would say that I am definitely lucky to work at a firm like Shipleys. Not only are you encouraged and given many opportunities to be responsible for major parts of a job, but there is always support and guidance from those higher up at the firm. All are happy to invest their own time in making sure a trainee (like myself) understands and feels confident in approaching the work set – something I would consider extremely vital for a trainee’s personal development.

Shenai Doughty

Shenai graduated from the University of Southampton with a Law degree and joined Shipleys in January 2016 as a Trainee Chartered Accountant. Her time is divided between working within the audit team in the London office and studying at Kaplan and attending SWAT training.

9 month update

Within 9 months, I’ve been quickly exposed to a variety of work, such as film, funds and accounts prep. I’ve also covered a few miles around the UK as well, for on-site client work and attending stocktakes. I went to Scotland for the first time for a stock take, Edinburgh specifically and I was lucky enough to meet a fantastically knowledgeable taxi driver who drove me around for the day and acted as my very own tour guide!

Shipley’s has a good mix of clients, so one week you might be on accounts prep and the following week on an on-site audit for a film client for example, working for different managers and to different time scales depending on the size of the client. So far, I can say I’ve definitely had a good breadth of experience in accounts prep and audit.

As I mentioned before, I had been at college quite a bit over the last few months preparing for 3 professional stage exams which I’ve now sat! Gosh…they came round so quick from when I started at Shipley’s in January, where’s all the time gone?!


Lara Anifowose

I graduated from the University of Southampton with a degree in Accounting and Finance then joined Shipleys as a trainee in January 2016. I work on Audits and Accounts Preparation for different entities. Outside of work, I am a bit of a travel enthusiast!